13 May 2022 – 29 July 2022
Esc Medien Kunst Labor Center for Contemporary Art

Bürgergasse 5, 8010
Graz, Austria

“We believe in the possibility of an incalculable number of human transformations and declare in all seriousness that wings sleep in the flesh of man”. -F.T. Marinetti

In keeping with the ideas and promises of Futurism, Marinetti still envisages predominantly positive things when he writes about the technical possibilities of bodily extensions and expansions. Today, it is above all the media productions on internet platforms that, in the course of obsessive optimization efforts and permanent (self-)measurements, blind us to the status change of the body to object, to capital.

We train, repair, rehabilitate, model, beautify and mechanize our bodies through cosmetics, fitness programs, supplements and medicines, surgical interventions, prostheses, implants, computer-brain interfaces and other technical enhancements. The effort and the results are constantly being recorded by a wide variety of programs and applications, and the data is made readily available to the data-processing industries. Under their influence, the pressure to invest in our “body capital” in a self-responsible way is increasing, non-compliance is met with sanctions. The interventions have long since also affected our cognition and our emotion. Michel Foucault’s finding about the reciprocal relationship between the usefulness and compliance of the body in a politics of constraints is being put into practice today as corporate politics: the human body enters into a machinery of exploitation that penetrates, dissects and reassembles it.

We should be aware of who is pursuing what interests and who is reaping the greatest profits from all the beautiful and new possibilities of optimizing and perfecting the body when the view of the changes in our body, our thoughts and emotions is softened by the filters of fascination and erotic attraction.

(text compliments of ESC)

The group exhibition “Perfect Body” at Esc Medien Kunst Labor Center for Contemporary Art is part of the larger series “My Body – My Machine”